You probably know Winona Ryder as Will's mom on the Netflix original series Stranger Things. But one of her very first movies in the '80s was the dark comedy Heathers, where she plays Veronica, a regular high school teen who tries to fit in by hanging out with the "cool kids" who are all coincidentally named Heather. She eventually teams up with a sociopath, J.D. played by Christian Slater, and plans her revenge against the Heathers who turn out to be her frienemies.
In this week's Rookie Podcast episode, Tavi Gevinson sits down with Winona to talk about how J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey got her into acting school when she was 12, how she was bullied when she was younger, and what the movie Heathers got right about being a teen.
She recalled an experience she had before she auditioned for the movie. "I was in high school and there was a girl in my school that I didn't know that well who was completely tormented. She was like a very early goth girl. And she killed herself. All of a sudden, everyone was like putting this whole act. That happened literally a week before I got the script. To me, it said so much about how society treats teenagers and how teenagers treat teenagers, but it did it in this incredibly new way. I had never read anything like it. It was really one of the best experiences I've ever had."
They also talk about how the teen hierarchy and how power works in high school doesn't really change even when you grow older. Tavi shares, "You just become better...you have more tools in your toolbox for dealing with it. Or figuring out what is worth the trouble of caring."
Listen to the entire episode below and subscribe for more updates!
What podcasts are you subscribed to right now? What are your favorite teen movies? Let's talk about them in the comments below!